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An even split in divorce might not be what you expect

You’ve worked hard for what you have, and you want to get your fair share in the divorce. What if you deserve more than half?

The laws in Texas aim for even shares, but that doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split. The state looks for a “just and right” division, which allows for some sway in the outcome. A fair split means different types of property, marital assets and debt can change how things shake out.

What’s mine might be ours

If you and your partner agree on a plan, the judge can take that into account, and it may do away with a lot of the stress of getting divorced. If you can’t come to an accord, the judge will determine a compromise.

For starters, not all property is up for grabs. Things you owned before marriage, gifts and inheritances could be considered separate property if they haven’t been commingled. Anything acquired during the marriage that doesn’t qualify as separate is divisible community property. The court will then stamp a price on everything. It’s usually the fair market value, but qualified testimony can move the needle.

Just one more question

There are seemingly endless considerations when deciding what’s fair. Differences in your earning ability are just as relevant as the cause of the breakup. The judge will take plenty of things into consideration:

  • How long were you married?
  • Who is at fault for the divorce?
  • Is there a custody arrangement?
  • How big are your separate estates?
  • What is your education level compared to your partner?
  • Has there been a disparity in income?
  • What is your current financial situation?

A house divided

You’re not going to be able to split a large item like a house down the middle. The judge will consider things like value, what you owe and who is making payments. Once you hash out the details, the judge may award you the property, while your partner gets a larger piece of other shared assets.

Make sure you know how much everything is worth, your contributions and establish a road map for the future. These could be the keys to fair treatment when you put your life on the chopping block.

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